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Old 03-10-2019, 11:01 AM   #1
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Basement A/C considerations

Looks like some people love basement a/c and others hate it. Seems that people with shorter coaches like me are happiest, so I guess the problem is more of a capacity issue and perhaps duct losses in longer duct runs.

One thing I do think is true is that you have no backup with a single basement unit compared to two roof units, so I've considered adding a roof unit as a backup. The additional capacity here in Az wouldn't hurt either.

A question for NRV Dolphin owners: Is there a vent jack on the Dolphins where this could be done? I don't take possession of my RV for a few days yet, but from photos, on my 6320 there appears to be a roof vent in the center of the roof between the kitchen and the dinette. Or is this a return air duct for the a/c?

Any ideas about how others have done this would be appreciated. I've even considered installing a small ductless mini-split in one of the basement storage lockers, but haven't come up with a good way to run the hoses to the indoor unit. I like the idea of keeping the weight down low. Installing something under the booth dinette seats seems like another option, but cutting a hole in the slider to vent to the outside doesn't thrill me.
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
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There is a "Fantastic Fan" on our Dolphin about where you indicated the "vent".
However, our 2005 model has had no, zero, nada problems with the Coleman Mach RV air conditioner, http://www.rvcomfort.com/rvp/. Even if the AC part was not working we caould still use the HVAC blower to move air through the coach,
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Old 03-10-2019, 02:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJH3rd View Post
There is a "Fantastic Fan" on our Dolphin about where you indicated the "vent".
However, our 2005 model has had no, zero, nada problems with the Coleman Mach RV air conditioner, http://www.rvcomfort.com/rvp/. Even if the AC part was not working we caould still use the HVAC blower to move air through the coach,
That's comforting to know that the basement heat pump is working well for you. Sounds like the "Fantastic Fan" might be what I'm seeing, and it would be great if it can double as an a/c roof jack if it's ever needed. Having lost a/c on a previous coach in Nashville in June, I know that you'll do about anything to get the a/c working again asap.

I personally like not having the a/c up on the roof-- they're not so good for aerodynamics and help make the rig top-heavy-- but you can buy those roof units at just about any RV supply store. Not sure if that's the case with basement units now that many manufacturers have gone back to roof mounted.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:02 PM   #4
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We had a 2005 Dolphin 5342 with basement A/C and loved it, so when we got a newer RV it was a high priority to find one that also had the Basement A/C unit, which is also a heat pump. The 2008 Dolphins had 2 roof top A/C units but we were lucky to find an early 08 Dolphin 5355 with the basement A/C. We found them both had more than enough cooling capacity, that is could keep our inside temp. at 72 F(which can be uncomfortably cool) when it was in the 90's outside. With it's 2 Ton capacity and the ability to run 1 compressor on 30A shore power or both compressors on 50A shore power, it's flexible , quiet, and being the same size a most home or residential AC units, is more than adequate. I highly recommend using it for a while before considering adding a roof top unit. We never had an issue with either of them, and have used them in the heat pump mode just as much as A/C mode, which has reduced the need to run the gas furnace and so save $$ on LP gas. And as mentioned, the roof has less things on it.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:40 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks everyone. Guess I'll just wait to see how it works in the AZ summer. Could be that I started to believe the naysayers a bit too much, lol. It doesn't help that there's always a little anxiety associated with such a major purchase, but after driving some other rigs and knowing how much Dolphin owners like theirs, there's nothing else I'd care to own short of a diesel pusher.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:59 PM   #6
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BTW - If you have a question about ANY system in the National, just ask it right here. One of use has probably has the answer.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:13 AM   #7
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The basement air in mine was a nightmare would not go below 80 in summer down here without the roof unit I added. bad blower wheel. Bad fan shaft bearing, vibration and would not hardly work on the road as the air return was adjacent to the muffler on the 40 foot pusher tradewinds.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:04 PM   #8
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Basement Air

On my 2005 Dolphin, the return air is under the bed and that's where the filter is located also. All registers in the ceiling are supply registers. We love the quiet of having basement air.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:29 PM   #9
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My 2000 Winnebago had basement air, and still worked great when I sold it. I was happy with the basement air. Some people I talked to in Arizona said they used swamp coolers. This might be an option instead of cutting a hole in the roof if you need a little extra. Cheers
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